Weeds Act - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

What recent changes have been made to the Schedule of Noxious Weeds?

Effective January 1, 2015, the following plants are being added to the Schedule of Noxious Weeds. Adding these weeds to the Schedule of Noxious Weeds will provide another tool for weed inspectors to control these non-native plants to minimize interference with agriculture or horticulture.

  • Smooth bedstraw
  • Wild chervil
  • Common crupina
  • Jointed goatgrass
  • Kudzu
  • Wild parsnip
  • Serrated tussock
  • Tansy ragwort
  • Woolly cupgrass

Effective January 1, 2015, the following plants are being removed from the Schedule of Noxious Weeds.

  • Goat's beard spp.
  • Nodding thistle spp.
  • Scotch thistle
  • Wild carrot
  • Johnson grass
  • Black-seeded proso millet
  • Yellow rocket
  • Russian thistle
  • Tuberous vetchling

Please refer to OMAFRA Publication 75, Guide to Weed Control for information on management strategies for various weeds including noxious weeds.

Why is this change being made?

Nine weed species are being removed from the Schedule. Some of these species are considered a food source for pollinators, such as bees (e.g., wild carrot, goat's-beard, scotch thistle, nodding thistle, yellow rocket, and tuberous vetchling). These and other species that are being removed from the Schedule are no longer considered significant threats to agricultural or horticultural production and can be managed through modern management practices.

Nine weed species are also being added to the Schedule. This is to address the issue of new and emerging weed species of concern and to provide another tool for weed inspectors to control these non-native plants to minimize interference with agriculture or horticulture.

What do I need to do?

If you are in possession of one of the weeds on the Schedule of Noxious Weeds and it is negatively impacting agriculture and horticulture lands then you must destroy it. If you feel that your agricultural or horticultural land is being negatively impacted by noxious weeds, contact your local Weed Inspector.

Your local municipality, region, district or county can provide you with contact information for the Weed Inspector for your area. Alternatively you can call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 and they can provide you with a contact.

Where do I get more information

A list of all weeds designated as noxious under the Weed Control Act can be found in Regulation 1096, below and on the Ministry's website (*Please note that this list will be in effect from January 1, 2015 onwards).

OMAFRA's Ontario weed gallery provides pictures, descriptions and lots of information, including habitat and species information on over 170 weeds. OMAFRA's Publication 75, Guide to Weed Control provides information on management strategies for various weeds including noxious weeds.

How do I contact my local area or municipal weed inspector?

Your local municipality, region, district or county can provide you with contact information for the Weed Inspector for your area. Alternatively you can call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 and they can provide you with a contact.

Why does Ontario have the Weed Control Act?

The intent of the Weed Control Act is to reduce:

  1. The infestation of noxious weeds that negatively impact on agriculture and horticulture lands.
  2. Plant diseases by eliminating plant disease hosts such as common barberry and European buckthorn.
  3. Health hazards to livestock and agricultural workers caused by poisonous plants.

What is a noxious weed?

A noxious weed includes a plant that has been listed in the Schedule of Noxious Weeds found in Regulation 1096 made under the Weed Control Act. This list is commonly referred to as the "Noxious Weed List". The council of the municipality may, subject to the approval of the Minister, designate additional plants as local weeds through a by-law made in accordance with section 10 of the Weed Control Act. These local weeds are deemed to be noxious weeds in the area where the by-law applies.

In general, a species designated as a noxious weed under the Weed Control Act is one that:

  • Is difficult to manage on agricultural land once established and will reduce the yield and quality of the crop being grown;
  • Negatively affects the health and well-being of livestock; or
  • Poses a risk to the health and well-being of agricultural workers.

In Ontario, 25 weeds are designated as noxious under the Weed Control Act. A list of these weeds can be found below and on the Ministry's website (*Please note that this list will be in effect from January 1, 2015 onwards).

Noxious Weeds in Ontario effective January 1, 2015

*Please note that this list will be in effect from January 1, 2015 onwards.

  1. Black Dog-Strangling Vine
  2. Common Crupina
  3. Dog-Strangling Vine
  4. Jointed Goatgrass
  5. Kudzu
  6. Serrated Tussock
  7. Smooth Bedstraw
  8. Tansy Ragwort
  9. Wild Chervil
  10. Wild Parsnip
  11. Woolly Cupgrass

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Local: (519) 826-4047
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca

Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 22 March 2005
Last Reviewed: 01 December 2014